CIRCLEVILLE — For the Fraternal Order of the Eagles F.O.E. 685 in Circleville, giving back to the community is what it’s all about.
The Eagles donated $2,000 recently to the Circleville Police Department to help fund the K-9 program within the Department.
Wendy Roeder, Eagles’ secretary, said Police Chief Shawn Baer sent them a letter about the program, the costs and those who had already contributed and asked for a donation to the program,
“The letter said the balance was $2,000 to finish what they were doing,” she said. “I took that letter to a meeting and of course, our members are all about community…and someone nominated to give them the full $2,000. It was a unanimous vote. That’s when I contacted them and they were shocked.”
Dave McIntyre, Circleville Police Officer and school resource officer at Circleville City Schools, said the money will help fund their program, which can get expensive when you factor in all the expenses.
“Two thousand dollars goes a long way,” he said. “The dogs are expensive — between food, medical bills, equipment and training. Even the equipment in the cruiser, like the temperature unit, is expensive and when that goes bad, which they tend to do, it’s an expensive fix.”
The K-9 program often brings dogs into the school and out into the community for the events where kids can see it all in action.
“They actively help us promote and sustain a drug-free environment during the school day and at after-school events,” Evan Debo, communications director for Circleville City Schools, said. “They’re a fantastic partner for us. Officer [Erick] Eberhard and his K-9 partner Sergey are a huge part of the identification and remediation of any issues pop up.”
Roeder said it feels good for the members of the organization to help the community and do things that will benefit others, especially the kids.
“They say when you smile, it’s contagious,” she said. “When you give, especially when you show kids what it is to give, it’s great.”
Roeder said a lot of people think the Eagles is just a place where people go to drink and while people do go there for that, they’re more of a community. They host fundraisers and use their profits from their events to fund community efforts. In 2019, they gave out $46,000 as an organization.
“Last year was crazy, so this year, we’re kicking back up,” she said. “We’re all about kids. That’s where it starts to try to change things. We have to start with the kids. We try to give everywhere when we can.”
Roeder said 2020 was hard on the organization since they canceled their events, including their annual community fun night where members can bring their families.
“It was sad because we have that picnic where we rent all kinds of things for the kids, at no charge to them, and we had to cancel it,” she said. “We’re just now starting to get back into it and the trustees are monitoring the pandemic to make good decisions.”